Volume 40, Issue 5 (September 1995)
Distinguishing the Cause of Textile Fiber Damage Using the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
Forensic investigations have been using fiber scanning electron microscopy to identify the cause of textile damage. This study was modeled after previously documented cases with the aims to create fabric damage under a known series of conditions, to examine the fiber's fracture morphology, to photograph SEM fiber-end images, and to compare the appearance characteristics with known theory. Overlapping characteristics were observed for scissor cut, knife cut and torn fabrics. Results were not totally consistent with those previously published. In certain cases, fiber-end morphology alone may be unreliable to distinguish the source of fiber damage. A need is demonstrated for further experimentation to establish a protocol for the forensic analysis of fiber damage that would include all aspects of textile microscopy.